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Dr. Ray Pritchard Christian Blog and Commentary

In Search of the Early Church

  • Dr. Ray Pritchard
    Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren grandsons: Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
  • 2006 Oct 15
  • Comments

Over the weekend a received a question from a friend in Atlanta asking me about the role of elders in the local church. That led me to revisit a series of sermons I first preached in 1992 called In Search of the Early Church when our congregation in Oak Park was considering a new constitution that would establish a board of elders. I took a look at those sermons (for the first time in fourteen years) and decided that I still believe what I wrote then. Here are the five sermons in the series:

First Century Patterns for 21st-Century Churches
What Elders Do
Deacons and Deaconesses--Servants of Christ
Is Congregational Government Biblical?
How to Handle Trouble in the Church

In early 1993 I wrote a paper in which I discussed the qualifications for elders in more detail. Because Jim Warren offered it free of charge on Primetime America, we sent hundreds of copies around the country. That paper is called Portrait of a Godly Leader. Around that same time I wrote thiselder job description.

You can reach the author at  ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.